Modern televisions have sacrificed audio quality for thinness. I’m not attacking TV manufacturers, I’m just stating the facts. By having more screen area and smaller bezels, TVs hardly have enough space to pack a pair of speakers, let alone speakers that offer a fully immersive effect of what you see on screen. This is why consumers are looking to sound bars to make up for the shortcomings of modern TV design.
The Polk Audio Signa S2 is, as many have put it, the best sound bar available for a very reasonable price. It comes with all of the bells and whistles that you’d normally expect from high-end soundbars for a fraction of the cost. Let’s talk about what makes it a worthy sound bar for your entertainment system.
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The Signa S2 measures in at roughly 35.5 x 2 x 3 inches and weights just under 4 pounds. The compact design is beneficial for homes with limited wall space beneath their TVs. The subwoofer that comes with it is around 7 x 13 x 12 inches and weighs a about 11 pounds.
Similarly, finding a spot for the subwoofer on the floor near your TV shouldn’t prove to be too difficult.
The budget-friendliness of the Signa S2 is apparent from its simplistic design. The cold, honest truth is that nothing about its looks are eye-catching at all and may even go unnoticed. Not that this is a bad thing – just don’t expect it to wow you and your guests.
The Signa S2 isn’t a feature-rich sound bar like many other with higher price tags, so you really get what you pay for. Thankfully, the S2 includes an HDMI port and ARC functionality so there’s less cable management to worry about.
Also, the S2 comes with a standard 3.5-mm AUX jack and Optical Digital input.
All three connection ports can be found in the back.
There’s also a USB port located on the bottom of the sound bar, but this was built in for manufacturing purposes. No USB streaming can be done so don’t expect to play music from a flash drive.
For you music lovers out there, I’m happy to report that this basic, affordable sound bar also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. You’ll be able to stream music directly from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer and play your jams at a higher volume.
Pairing the sound bar to another device is painless – activate Bluetooth, search for the sound bar on your smartphone, and connect. Like any Bluetooth device, the stability of the connection depends on the distance between the paired gadgets.
Control Panel and Remove Control
On top of the sound bar are five buttons – on/off, input selection, Bluetooth, volume up, and volume down. It’s a pretty straightforward setup without any confusing buttons and selections, but this is expected from such an inexpensive model.
If you’re wondering, pressing them provides a satisfying click-y sound that lets you know that you’ve pressed a button.
Apart from the onboard control panel, the Signa S2 also has its very own remote control. The RC isn’t all that fancy looking, but the buttons are pretty large and easy to press. However, the response time between the two is a bit problematic – it may take several clicks before registering your command. This is a minor annoyance at most.
If you’re thinking of getting the Signa S2 for its sound quality, that’s not a problem, unless you’re looking for adjustability. The Signa S2 comes with only two audio modes – for music and for movies.
These equalizer presets differ slightly in acoustics, but there’s nothing you can do to alter bass and treble settings to your liking.
Note how many times I mentioned how affordable, budget-friendly, and inexpensive the Signa S2 is. There’s a very good reason why the price tag of this particular sound bar is far below the industry average: it’s that it doesn’t produce the best audio quality.
However, everything needs to be taken into context, and for an inexpensive soundbar, I was actually surprised by how great they worked. Watching films on Movie mode won’t produce the same immersive effect as high-end sound bars, and Music mode delivers a pretty awesome performance for most genres. The subwoofer did a satisfactory job to highlight the bass.
We fully understand that the Signa S2 from Polk Audio isn’t for everybody, especially those looking for eargasms from music, movies, and games.
However, if you’re in the market for a sound bar that will make dialogue and vocals easier to hear compared to the less-than-satisfactory speakers of your flat screen, then this budget-friendly sound bar is definitely worth considering.